With many teams holding onto their final set of tires for the final session of the two day test, times in the second Monday session were not as fast as they were in the first session. A number of drivers used the session to simulate race length runs.
For the fourth of five sessions, it was a Team Pelfrey driver leading the way when Pro Mazda rookie Aaron Telitz led his third session of the test. He was followed by Nicolas Dapero (Juncos Racing), Garett Grist (Juncos Racing), Pato O’Ward (Team Pelfrey) and Weiron Tan (Team Pelfrey).
Once again the field was quite tightly packed, with the top eight drivers within one second of Telitz.
Complete Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire time-sheet:
After sniffing the top of the time-sheets in the first five sessions, 22 year-old Ayla Agren led the sixth and final Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda. The sophomore pilot was joined in the top five by Parker Thompson (Cape Motorsports with /WTR), Jordan Lloyd (Pabst Racing), Lucas Kohl (John Cummiskey Racing) and Garth Rickards (Pabst Racing).
The sixth and final USF2000 session was a disjointed affair with two red flags interrupting the driver’s rhythms.
The first incident involved rookie JDC Motorsports driver Tazio Ottis, who had scary run-in with a piece of debris.
Tazio was hit in the head by another cars bodywork causing him to end this session early. He was checked out by medical & has been released.
— JDC MotorSports (@JDCMotorSports) March 7, 2016
The second red flag came when John Cummiskey Racing rookie Lucas Kohl’s No. 34 came to a stop after a mechanical issue. The safety crew brought him back to pit-row and he was able to rejoin the session for the final fifteen minutes.
After watching three sophomores run nose-to-tail while dominating the USF2000 Championship in 2015, it should come as no surprise that six of the top seven on the combined time-sheet are sophomore USF2000 pilots. It should also come as no surprise that the top seven are only separated by four-tenths of a second, and that a dozen drivers were within Anthony Martin’s top lap of 01:23.8430.
The group of 18 drivers turned a total of 2445 laps (5,623.5 miles). In two days, Agren made 169 circuits of the 2.3 mile 17-Turn Barber Motorsports Park road course, the most of any driver.
Combined Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda time-sheet:
|RANK||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||SESSION||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||Anthony Martin||01:23.8430||Session 4||74|
|2||James Munro||01:23.8615||Session 4||147|
|3||Parker Thompson||01:23.9258||Session 4||137|
|4||Ayla Agren||01:23.9560||Session 4||169|
|5||Garth Rickards||01:24.1085||Session 4||164|
|6||Jordan Lloyd||01:24.1663||Session 1||152|
|7||Nikita Lastochkin||01:24.2666||Session 4||147|
|8||TJ Fischer||01:24.3007||Session 4||140|
|9||Jordan Cane||01:24.3891||Session 1||155|
|10||Robert Megennis||01:24.3968||Session 4||152|
|11||Lucas Kohl||01:24.5634||Session 4||161|
|12||Yufeng Luo||01:24.7645||Session 1||131|
|13||Cameron Das||01:24.9533||Session 4||138|
|14||Dakota Dickerson||01:25.2436||Session 2||133|
|15||Tazio Ottis||01:25.3446||Session 4||156|
|16||Michai Stephens||01:25.8307||Session 4||73|
|17||Clint McMahan||01:26.0640||Session 4||115|
|18||Felipe Ortiz||01:26.2995||Session 6||101`|
One key thought on USF2000:
After four straight driver’s championships, it appears that Cape Motorsports with /WTR will have some company at the top of the time-sheets in 2016. After leading three of the six sessions, there is no doubt that they are still the favorites. But with drivers from Pabst Racing, Team Pelfrey and John Cummiskey Racing also leading sessions and the top 12 covered by only one second, the competition for the top step of the podium should be fierce.
Team Pelfrey put the stamp on a dominant Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire spring training test by leading their fifth of sixth sessions. This time, it was Pato O’Ward, who was driving the No. 81, for this session, that came out on top. Will Owen (Juncos Racing), Garett Grist (Juncos Racing), Jake Parsons (Juncos Racing) and Nico Jamin (Cape Motorsports with /WTR) finished out the rest of the top five.
Teams and drivers made sticker Cooper Tire runs late in the session after a lengthy red flag was required to clean up the gravel that rookie Nicolas Dapero brought back on to the track after light contact with the ARMCO and a spin through a gravel trap.
On the combined time-sheet, it was all Team Pelfrey, with Birchwood, WI rookie Aaron Telitz leading his teammates O’Ward and Weiron Tan. The three teammates were covered by only two-tenths of a second.
Meanwhile, the top 10 drivers on the combined time-sheet were all within one second of the fastest lap time.
The group of 11 drivers turned a total of 1393 laps (3,203.9 miles). In two days, Jay Horak made 153 circuits of the 2.3 mile 17-Turn Barber Motorsports Park road course, the most of any driver.
Combined Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire time-sheet:
|RANK||DRIVER||QUICK LAP||SESSION||TOTAL LAPS|
|1||Aaron Telitz||01:20.7221||Practice 4||103|
|2||Pato O’Ward||01:20.7448||Practice 3||101|
|3||Weiron Tan||01:21.0038||Practice 4||108|
|4||Nicolas Dapero||01:21.1229||Practice 4||103|
|5||Nico Jamin||01:21.1860||Practice 4||128|
|6||Garett Grist||01:21.2379||Practice 4||126|
|7||Jake Parsons||01:21.3002||Practice 4||142|
|8||Will Owen||01:21.5233||Practice 4||141|
|9||Jake Eidson||01:21.6415||Practice 4||146|
|10||Jorge Cevallos||01:22.4846||Practice 4||142|
|11||Jay Horak||01:24.1365||Practice 4||153|
One key thought on Pro Mazda:
Round 1 of the 2016 edition of the annual Team Pelfrey vs. Juncos Racing Pro Mazda battle went to Team Pelfrey. Thankfully it’s only testing and Juncos will have a chance to make adjustments before St. Petersburg.
But even more interesting than the squad vs. squad battle this year, could be the intra-squad battles within each team.
The three Team Pelfrey drivers were only covered by two-tenths of a second and all three have the potential to be in the championship hunt. The dynamic between the three very different personalities will be interesting to watch.
Juncos Racing could have four championship bullets as it’s clear that the two sophomores (Grist and Owen) will be pushed by their rookie (Dapero and Parsons) teammates.